Investigation of thermo-sensitive amphiphilic micelles as drug carriers for chemotherapy in cholangiocarcinomain vitroandin vivo


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Abstract

Graphical abstractCholangiocarcinoma is an epithelial cancer of the bile ducts with poor prognosis and, in recent years, a rapidly increasing incidence. In this study, nano-sized thermo-sensitive micelles were investigated as drug carriers to improve chemotherapy in cholangiocarcinoma. Thermo-sensitive amphiphilic block copolymer, P-(N, N-isopropylacrylamide-co-N-hydroxymethylacrylamide)-b-caprolactone [P-(NIPAAm-co-NHMAAm)-b-PCL] with lower critical solution temperature (LCST) at about 38 °C was synthesized. Doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded micelles were prepared by dialysis method. The micelles exhibited a sustained and temperature-dependent DOX release. Toxicity of the blank micelles for human cholangiocarcinoma (QBC939) cells was minimal both in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, the DOX-loaded micelles effectively inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis of QBC939 cells in vitro (p < 0.05) and inhibited tumor growth in nude mice by 21.49%. These results indicated that thermo-sensitive amphiphilic micelles are a promising and effective drug carrier, and show potential for improving chemotherapy for cholangiocarcinoma.

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